POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/20

Top 10 Things Romney Might Be Hiding in His Tax Returns

The Atlantic has the list.

Majority Say Romney Should Release Tax Returns

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that Americans, by a 54% to 37% margin, say Mitt Romney should release his tax returns from additional years.

Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans.

Also interesting: “While 42% predict the release of additional returns would not reveal anything politically harmful, 44% believe it would include damaging information — including 15% who say they believe the revelations would be so serious that they would ‘show he is unfit to be president.'”

Why Bain Matters

Joe Klein: “The strongest case against Bain capitalism is a metaphor: Mitt Romney made a fortune swapping equity for debt. That’s what we’ve done for the past 30 years in this country, turning a great many of our assets into deficits for short-term gain. We need to do the opposite now.”

Scalia Downplays Reports of Rancor on Court

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia “downplayed reports of personal and ideological riftsstemming from the recent landmark health care reform ruling,” telling CNN that “it offends me” to hear such criticism.

“Some media and blog reports — citing sources with specific knowledge of the deliberation process — suggested strong tensions among the court’s conservatives over Roberts’ vote, which some commentators perceived as political expediency.”

Obama Leads in Wisconsin

A new We Ask America poll in Wisconsin finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by seven points, 49% to 42%.

Obama Ahead in Nevada

A new We Ask America poll in Nevada shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by six points, 49% to 43%.

A new Magellan Strategies poll shows Obama leading 50% to 46%.

Romney Wouldn’t Have Run If He Had to Release Taxes

Mitt Romney “has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so,” several current and former Bain executives tell the Huffington Post.

“Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.”

Daily Beast: The emerging theory on Mitt’s taxes: It’s 2009.

Obama Says Romney Will End Medicare

President Obama begins a two-day swing through Florida and First Read reports “he’ll introduce another attack: hitting Romney on Medicare and the Ryan budget.”

Per the campaign, the president “will discuss his commitment to strengthening Medicare, and a new report tomorrow that highlights the devastating impact Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan could have on the 3.4 million Floridians that rely on Medicare.”

“Bottom line, per the campaign’s guidance: Obama will argue that Romney — through his support for the Ryan budget plan — advocates ending Medicare ‘as we know it.'”

Jonathan Chait: “The Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record and personal finances will probably continue for a long time. But I think that, when the campaign is remembered in history, they will not be seen as the central element but rather as a prelude. The main event is going to be a fight over the priorities of the Paul Ryan budget.”

Romney Hits Obama on Business Remark

The Romney campaign is out with a tough new video using President Obama’s recent quote about business: “If you’ve got a business-you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen…”

Greg Sargent: “This line is going to be a major target for the Romney campaign — similar to Obama’s 2008 remark about spreading the wealth — but in order to have maximum political value, it needs to be removed from context in a highly misleading way, which the Romney camp is happy to do.”

See more…

DNC Backs Off Dressage Romney Attack Ads

The DNC said that they “would refrain from using the Romney’s dressage horse Rafalca in future advertisements after suggestions the ad could be offensive to the Republican challenger’s wife, Ann,” The Hill reports.

“The horse, which will be competing later this month in London’s Summer Olympics, is one of a number of animals that Ann Romney owns and rides as part of her treatment for multiple sclerosis.”

Zeke Miller: “The curveball: Mrs. Romney never even took offense. And the episode was more a mark of Democrats’ fear of provoking sympathy for the candidate’s wife than of any move by the Republicans to capitalize on it.”

Why Romney Can’t Wait Out the Tax Storm

Frank Rich: “What Mitt doesn’t seem to realize is that whatever embarrassments are in his tax returns, the bigger problem is that his secrecy keeps accentuating all the mysteries in his resume: the erased hard drives he left behind when leaving office as Massachusetts governor; what exactly he did as a longtime lay official in the Mormon church; and, of course, what exactly he did and didn’t do at Bain and, for that matter, when he was there and not there. If he keeps trying to wait out the tax storm, it will keep growing — hitting a new peak when he finally releases the one additional year of tax returns he has agreed to disclose, and another when his veep pick is asked to release his or her tax returns.”

Steve Kornacki: “Maybe the calendar offers a clue about Romney’s thinking. In just over a week, the London Olympics will kick off. If you’re going to release more embarrassing tax returns, maybe that would be the ideal time?”

Deadlocked in the Battleground States

A new NPR poll in 12 battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — finds President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 46% each.

A new NPR poll in 12 battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — finds President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 46% each.

Virginia is Dead Even

A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia finds Mitt Romney now in a dead heat with President Obama at 44% each.

Obama held an 8 point lead in March and a 5 point lead in June.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Virginia voters are sharply split along gender and political lines about the presidential race. The two candidates equally hold their own political bases and are splitting the key independent vote down the middle. One small edge that President Obama has is likability. Voters have a slightly more favorable opinion of the president than they do Mitt Romney.”

Heller Holds Small Lead in Nevada

A new Magellan Strategies poll in Nevada finds Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) with a narrow lead over challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), 45% to 42%.

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